We Inform and Comment - Make the Decision Yours!

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Print










5 Monarch Court

 14 Marlborough Road




10 September 2020

Discretionary Business Grant

BCP Council

Bourne Avenue


Dear Sirs

Re: Local Discretionary Grant Scheme – 54232 Appeal Deadline 10 September 2020

You sent me an email dated 3 September 2020 in which you refused my application for this grant and you used the weasel-words “you have no fixed building-related costs, or your costs are not as defined in section 4.1 of the scheme.  This may be that you have fixed building-related costs for domestic rather than business premises (on the non-domestic rating list).”

Now, I was under the impression that following the fact that many millions of individuals had been excluded from the Government schemes of ‘furlough’ and ‘SEISS’ schemes, that aid was being provided on a local basis, for use by local councils to identify and help previously excluded individuals.  The scheme was primarily intended to help those working informally from home or otherwise to have marginally located businesses.  But here you are, denying any help on the flimsiest of excuses.  Is my understanding of this scheme and your role in it, totally incorrect?

I am extremely unhappy with the way you have been conducting yourselves in the matter – not in any way helpful - and I will make the following observations,

1. Firstly, you have made your ‘rules’ extremely difficult to physically find.  Only this morning have I managed to find these ‘rules’ and that only by searching the national Government website.  Your BCP website has no ‘search’ facility.

2. On finding this information, I also noted there was a ‘phase 1’ which commenced in May 2020.  In neither the earlier phase nor the current phase had I been informed of this grant.  It was only by listening to a radio conversation, that I found out this grant may be available from BCP Council.  It appears to me, that you are deliberately avoiding receiving claims.

3. Eventually, I have been able to find and read what you refer to as “section 4.1”.  However, this section is written terribly poorly.  It is of no help whatsoever in explaining why my application has been rejected as there is a whole page of paragraphs under 4.1 describing in very obscure ways a wide range of reasons for rejection, including that for instance, fishermen are excluded.  Am I supposed to guess from this wide range of alternatives, just what your actual reasoning is?  Do I need to be clairvoyant?  How else do I guess?

4. Your remarks in your refusal seem to infer that I am dishonestly applying for money to pay for my private living costs.  As I am working from home with a considerable amount of time spent using a room the flat to generate all possible income, and because this scheme is specifically aimed to assist those working from home, I find your imputation odious and entirely out of order.

In previous submissions and explanations, I have already provided a wide range of detailed explanations of my circumstances, especially showing my rent which is currently £973.00 per month.  I have also explained in great detail that I am self-employed and am looking for work.  I have also explained that I have 2 existing income streams and that both have completely stalled.  I have provided you with my last invoice issued in April for work completed in March 2020.  I have already provided you with a list of my monthly expenses.  Living and working as I do in the same premises, it is impossible to separate each item into business and private living expenses.  My wife is identically included in those expenses.

In more detail, Income stream 1 is for journalism and writing, I have been a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists since (I think) 1983, I have an active website and as proof I refer you to https://motoreconomics.com/excluded which will show the text of this letter (with SEO) as from Friday morning.  Please tell me when/if you want me to take it down.  My previous investors in the website have backed out due in their case to lack of charitable donations and I am hoping to continue with this under my own ownership – when and if investment cash becomes available.

Income stream 2 is for pre-booked chauffeur work, historically this has been with the well-known local company ‘Airport Cars Limited’ but they do not have work.  In desperation I have been hoping to start out on my own under Dorset Council.  Louise Gosnold from that Council will be able to confirm that I am applying for a private hire licence to do exactly that.  Presently this process is stalled due to lack of investment (= no cash).

Both those main income streams are conducted from my office (bedroom 3 of the above flat), all assignments are conducted by phone or email and no customers come visiting.  Above I have provided you with addresses to enable you to confirm this, I can also send you photographs of my office and equipment if you are minded to ask me directly for this proof.

As I bleed cash on a daily basis, any small savings I originally had have disappeared.  The only incomes I now have are from national and private pensions, and a small contribution from what is laughingly referred to as ‘Universal Credit’.  I am on a daily basis attempting to sell the contents of my garage on eBay to generate cash, but naturally the contribution from the sale of used car parts and similar items is tiny.  This month I shall be unable to pay the (private sector) rent, which will obviously eventually lead to me receiving notice to quit with no alternative accommodation to fall back upon.  I am as a result applying now for council accommodation.

Please let me know if you wish me to provide photographic evidence or references from external organisations such as my professional association (CIoJ), customers or suppliers.

This comprises my appeal against your decision.  I now ask that you review my application and appeal more favourably, honestly and fairly.

Yours faithfully

M. A. Wattam